A powerful earthquake registering 8.9 on the Richter scale struck north-eastern Japan on Friday, triggering a massive tsunami killing at least 15 people in Miyagi Prefecture.

The Japanese Self-Defence Force (SDF) has been dispatched to Miyagi Prefecture an area known for its nuclear power stations, many of which were affected but not destroyed according to the government.

All naval vessels docked at Maritime Self-Defence Force’s Yokosuka base have also been dispatched to Miyagi Prefecture, where entire shipping fleets have been affected by the tsunami.

Power outages have been reported at Misawa Air Base, Yokosuka Naval Base is functional but on high alert and Yokota Air Base near Tokyo began accepting aircraft being diverted from Japan’s Narita International Airport.

A tsunami alert has now been launched for Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii, California and islands in the pacific.